Our final picnic at the Hollywood Bowl's last concert of the season:
What could be better than eating and drinking under the stars? If you are going to the Hollywood Bowl it is de rigueur that you have a picnic before the concert. The Bowl is probably one of the best picnic spots in Los Angeles because it is the only place in this city where everyone is in a collective good mood.
I have a confession Dear Reader: since I went to ten concerts this season I got a little picnic burn-out and so for the last two events we bought food at the Bowl. In the above photo you can see our spicy tuna roll and the grilled chicken and soba noodle salad with some interesting carrot ribbons. Before that we indulged in kung pao chicken bao, har gow, and chicken and shrimp shui mai. Pinot's West Cafe specializes in Asian cuisine.
We ordered from the Pinot Grill when we went to see James Brown. It was nice not to schlepp anything on that night except for the wine. When we arrived at the box, our tables were set and our appetizers were there to greet us. Since I bought a really good Zin that night I had ordered the grilled rib-eye steak which was really good. Maestro had the pork porterhouse and Ms. Hollywood had the cold roast chicken with eggplant and hummus.
I think that my favorite picnic was when we brought the meze for four from Marouch on July 9th when we saw Tosca. It was still a lot of work to schlepp the food, flatware, glasses, table clothes, etc but it was nice not to cook and the meze were really good. We had hummus, mtabal (creamy eggplant dippy), fatoush (a salad made with toasted pita, cucumber, onion, tomato, and parsley with a lemon dressing), tabbouleh, fried kebbeh (like a deep fried meatball), labneh (seasoned yogurt cheese), Armenian sausages, basturma (like a very garlicky prosciutto), dolmas, and meat and cheese turnovers. We also ordered fool mudammas which are fava beans in a lemony, garlic, olive oil sauce.
Some of the favorite items that I prepared are the grilled ribeye steak salad with baby spinach, onions, tomatoes, and Rogue blue cheese (if you haven't tried this blue cheese yet get thee to the Cheese Store of Silver Lake tres vites! It's an award winning blue cheese from Oregon that has been smoked over hazelnuts.) For the same meal I made a really good sour cream curry dip that I served with Persian cucumbers (Stubborn Gourmet T forgot the chips.) This was Latin Jazz night when we saw Arturo Sandoval, and Maestro, Stubborn Gourmet T, and Les Beaux Cheveux, Esq. drank four bottles of wine between the three of them.
I also was impressed with the garbanzo bean salad that I made to go with our various Fra'Mani salumi. From the same cookbook, Michael Chiarello's Casual Cooking, I made a spuma di tonno which is essentially a tuna dip that you serve with crostini. This was on July 9th when we saw what I considered one of the best concerts of the season: Joshua Redman, Christian McBride, and Herbie Hancock.
I loved the bread basket chicken that Ms. Hollywood brought to the AFI's Big Picture. It is interesting to note that the recipe is included in the Hollywood Bowl Picnic Cookbook.
Our staples were always Fra'Mani salumi, various cheeses, and olives from the Cheese Store of Silver Lake.
4905 Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90029
Cheese Store of Silver Lake
3926-28 Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90029